Our Little Town

It has been quite interesting to move from a big town to this quiet place.  We live about a mile from a little town that does not have many things some people consider necessities. 

It has no supermarket, no shopping mall – not even a department store, no bank, no mail delivery (you pick it up at the post office), no school, no drive-thru, no home improvement warehouse – not even a hardware store.  No signal light, not even a flashing red light, no police department.  It is a town of about 200 people if you search far and wide to count everyone.  

What we do have is peace and quiet, some very beautiful scenery, and a much slower pace of life. 

The Visitor Center is an old Quonset hut.

Here is the church we attend.  On a really big day there are about 50 people.   

We are bordered by the Skagit River, second longest river in the state of Washington, the Cascade Mountains and the North Cascades National Park – sometimes referred to as the “American Alps.”

The backbone of the town is Highway 20, the “North Cascades Highway,” which is part of the larger Cascades Loop.  There is a whole website devoted to the loop if you are interested.  www.cascadeloop.com

Except for the few “locals” most people just stop to get gas, stretch their legs and maybe get a bite to eat  before going on their way over the pass through the Cascades.  On the weekends in the summertime the two gas stations (owned by the same family) are real hot spots.  Many car and motorcycle clubs take the scenic drive up along the river.  

Most of the locals try to avoid town on the weekends to miss all the tourists. The local businesses do 80% of their annual volume from Memorial Day to Labor Day.   

Marblemount started out in the 1800’s being a little cluster of buildings offering services to the gold miners and later the loggers. 

There were some huge logs that came out of this area.

This is an old photo of the original “Mine to Market” road, which followed the path of an old Indian trail along the Cascade River and was used to haul supplies to and from the gold mines in the mountains.   

This road was later paved and renamed Cascade River Road and is the road we live on.  Now it is used mostly by hikers heading for the trailhead about 20 miles above us.

This is the bridge over the Skagit river that connects us to town.  Before it was built in the 1960’s, a pole ferry or canoe was the only way across the river.

It is a beautiful, quiet little place and we love spending time here. 


7 comments on “Our Little Town

  1. mark says:

    Your town has a visitor center?! LUCKY!!! Sooo, how did they steer that truckload of loooong logs? What a beautiful area! Thanks for sharing. mark

  2. Cheri Mudryk says:

    Howdy, I was suprised to hear you guys were gone….to the wild blue yonder. Just goes to show you how we keep up with our old friends. Looks beautiful but I’m with Alex and I’m cold just looking at it! Is Alex in the Marines? What is he doing? He sure has changed since I last saw him. All grown up. Meghan looks about the same as when we saw her at Liberty. We’ll have to visit you some time. Keep in touch….Cheri Mudryk

  3. Rick & Brenda says:

    Mark: I have no idea how they steered those long trucks – maybe that is why they are not allowed anymore? And our very official looking visitor center is most always closed. None of the local businesses can agree on a plan or financing so . . . a few volunteers here and there, but usually closed.

    Cheri: Good to hear from you! We are not completely out of Bakersfield, but we do spend as much time up here as we can. The kids are both doing fine. Megan is getting her first hurricane experience as Ike is heading her way. She is about 60 miles NW of Houston. Being from California she is more familiar with earthquakes, but I think she is getting the hang of it. We sould love to have you come up and visit sometime.

  4. Cheri Mudryk says:

    How did the hurricane turn out for Megan? I think it’s great to keep up with the blog thing. It looks beautiful but how do you stand the cold? John’s cousin has a house on Lopez Island and we have been there a few times. Summer only! You probably passed it on your way to Victoria. We have also been to Victoria but the kids were small and we skipped the gardens….I was afraid they would pick the flowers! You didn’t tell me about Alex??? The work you are doing reminds me of building our house on Lindalee, but I think I’m too old for that now….how are you doing it…I know you are younger than we are. Maybe I’m just lazy, but reading and scrapbooking sound better than construction. Tell Rick hello, Cheri

  5. Rick & Brenda says:

    Megan survived her first hurricane quite well. There was wind and rain but no real damage in College Station. Lots of people from the Houston area evacuated there, some moving in with their college kids – doesn’t that sound like fun? Megan gathered her emergency supplies and found out what she is supposed to do if a hurricane does head her way full force. For her it was actually a bonus having all those extra people in town for a while. She is working part-time at a local restaurant and it was busier than usual with all those folks waiting out the storm.

    Alex joined the Marine Reserves and spent the summer of 2007 at boot camp in San Diego. He is on a special college kid plan so he only does his training in the summer then goes back to school. He is going to school, working part-time at the school IT department (computer tech support for students and staff) on the university debate team and does his military drill one weekend a month. He debated all four years of high school and has debated every year in college. Rick says he could argue with a fence post and enjoy it and that is probably true. He plans to graduate in May, get a job and move somewhere that is not Riverside. No steady girl in the picture at the moment. Megan says she is going to pick one out for him.

    You are right when you say we are in the re-building mode. Maybe the starting over someplace different mode is more accurate. We were both ready for something new and different – and it is definitely different here. We are sometimes reminded we aren’t as young as we used to be, usually when we are doing something like digging fence posts. We are both stronger than when we came and probably much healthier too. I am looking forward to when all the construction projects are complete and we can just use and enjoy them.

    We do love the weather here. A couple of days ago the TV weather guy said – and he was serious – “another heat wave is headed our way, 83 degrees for the high. Be sure your children have lots of liquids in their lunch.” If only they knew! The four seasons are beautiful here and preparing for winter takes on a whole new meaning. We do have lots of inside projects planned for the winter when there is snow and rain. Rick also plans to learn cross country skiing. I’m pretty much happy to sit by the fire and read a book.

    You will have to come by and see us next time you are up this way visiting. We are not too far from Lopez Island, just follow the Skagit River east. Take care and tell John hi. We have some cement projects planned too, so if he wants to see what he is missing he can stop by anytime!

  6. Cheri Mudryk says:

    Hey I’ll mention the concrete projects to him. Maybe it will sound more appealing than around here. Now he just hires it done..We are just getting fatter and lazier. Cross country skiing sounds like a lot of exercise too, I’ll stick with the book reading and fire sitting with you. What does Alex want to do and why the Marine Reserve? What is Megan studying? I need sun, do you get many days of sun? Cheri

  7. Rick & Brenda says:

    I will probably get thrown out of the state if I tell you that we get lots of beautiful, sunny days in the summer. We try to keep that quiet – don’t want all those crazy Californians coming here 😉

    Megan is currently majoring in communications. She also spends a lot of time watching football, mentoring her Fish (freshman) sailing, hanging out with her boyfriend, etc. It is nice she can squeeze a few classes in.

    Alex wants a job that pays a lot of money and requires very little of his time and effort. I don’t believe jobs like that are very plentiful but I suppose I could surprised. Why the Marines? Who knows – maybe he liked the uniform? Brenda

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